TUGBOAT LANDING PLAYGROUND
While Tugboat Landing is a small community west of the River District area, this playground with the same name is located further east at the foot of Kincross St and North Arm Ave. Discrepancy aside, this bright red, almost boat shaped playground, pays tribute to the tugboats that chug along the Fraser River with log booms in tow.
Climb aboard and find three steering wheels to satisfy all captains on deck. Members can peer out from two submarine windows and a periscope, and slide down a tunnel or standard slide into the pea gravel sea below. A disjointed bow offers a special seat at the front to reenact the “I’m flying” Titanic scene, although your children are probably too young to understand the reference and will wonder what the heck their parents are doing standing together with their arms out wide.
The space underneath the playboat is noticeably more spacious than usual, adding an extra space for imaginary play, complete with small round windows and a talk horn to voice commands to the crew from the lower to upper deck. Logs and large stones line the perimeter of the playground, complimenting the log booms that float in the nearby river.
Two smokestacks with the words, “Adventure Ship” decorate the top of the playground, completing this ship’s look. Although we must point out the total lost opportunity here in not calling it the “Friend-Ship”, enabling all dads now to point out the joke instead.
Apart from the entrance to this parkette, the space is nicely contained and kempt with a small wooden path, benches, picnic tables and shrubs and had little to no hazards (that I could find). There are no large trees, which means this playground is in full sun. Unfortunately, the chain-link fence is wrapped with banner ads so there is no view of the river but the skies are abuzz with cranes constructing towers and murders of crows perching on riverside trees.
Note that this playground is currently in a fenced area behind the Wesgroup’s River District Sales Centre (aka MODE Presentation Centre). Street parking on Riverwalk Ave, Kincross St, or North Arm Ave is the way to go because the small parking lot is for real estate customers only.
Alternatively, approach this playground by walking along the picturesque waterfront trail. Look south to catch glimpses of wildlife and the aforementioned tugboats and turn north to see condos at various stages of completion. Great for kids who are construction site fans.